DSP Navigators join forces with Sacramento Steps Forward

Since the program’s inception in 2004, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s (DSP) Homeless Navigators have worked diligently to address homelessness in Sacramento. Operating according to the Housing First model, they aim to identify homeless persons who find themselves in frequent contact with police and hospitals and provide them with permanent housing.

In March of 2015, DSP’s Navigator team joined forces with Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF) with the goal of replicating DSP’s best practices and extending services to more of the region’s homeless population.

“We’ve seen the power of a public-private partnership to effect change,” said Dion Dwyer, DSP Director of Community Services. “Pooling our resources and expanding our reach has enhanced our effectiveness in solving homelessness in the central city.”

Armed with compassion, the Navigators go out into the community to identify unsheltered, homeless clients and build one-on-one relationships with them. Using the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), they are able to collect and report data in real time, which can be utilized to identify emerging trends and focus future funding. Once a client is identified, Navigators get to know their background and needs and connect them with sustainable housing. After they are successfully housed, clients are connected with additional services to keep them off the streets.

The DSP Navigator program has found great success with this approach. In 2014 alone, they successfully placed 117 individuals into permanent or transitional housing. We are proud to partner with SSF in these efforts and hope it will trigger further collaboration within the community.